Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monster Hunter International!

My copy came in yesterday morning, and yesterday afternoon after mom told me it was in I went down and took it away from Farmdad.

(Grumble my book grumble opening my mail grumble grumble MINE!)

Turned the last page last night only to look up and discover that it was two in the freakin morning!

I could NOT put this book down. Many other bloggers have done reviews and raved about the fast paced action, the love-to-hate monsters and the excellence that is Larry Correia's penchant for detail in his weapons. All of that is fantastic, and they all say it so well, that I'm going to look at another aspect of the book.

This book makes you cheer for the heroes. It reminds me a lot of when I was a kid reading adventure novels, and the heroes of those would get into scrapes and it wouldn't be certain they would get out of them- but they gotta, they just gotta!

For me, this book brought back that feeling of uncertain certainty. The hero must pull through, save the girl, beat up the bad guy, and wind up with something really great for being so darned brave- but will he?

I did spot a couple of typos, but I'm blaming them more on Baen's copy editors than Mr. Correia, because frankly they ought to be better than that.

The writing in the action scenes flows well, and while I could have done with some more vivid descriptors to paint the picture for me, I have a feeling that's more my own penchant for description than any fault of the author.

There are so many many things to love about this book, go out and buy a copy so that Larry will get us MHI:II and the dozen other books he's working on swiftly.

If you'll excuse me now, I'm going to go re-read it before I let Farmdad have it back. Maybe I can distract him for a while with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Love From The Ponies

Yesterday whilst out checking on all the livestock, I stopped for a moment in the pasture with the horses. First off to check everybody over and secondly to get some love from Etta, who is always reliable about coming up and saying hello.

Now, normally, I can lay hands on two or three of the horses on a given day. Etta, always. It's not that they don't like me or are afraid of me, it's more that usually they're in a playful mood or absolutely convinced that I want to catch them, so they stay just out of reach, unless I've brought them a little treat of grain.

Yesterday, I didn't have any grain, and I just wanted to love on Etta for a moment before I went on my merry way, but suddenly I looked up and all six of the horses were jostling around me like they usually do when there's grain involved. Except, a little more polite since they weren't working their food hierarchy over.

Every one of them came up and got love, at least a couple of strokes down nose and neck. Joan, mom's older mare who was under the influence of a proud-cut gelding for the last year (he went elsewhere about a month ago) and who has been sticking with his "better not to be touched" philosophy, came up and rested her nose against my waist, while I stroked her all over her head.

Even Monkey, who's favorite games are "Go away closer" and "Catch me Catch me" came right up for some love, and lipped at my hat and hair in his own personal brand of affection.

I just caught them at the right time, feeling the togetherness vibe, and they included me in their wanting to be together. It's been a while since I've gotten to feel that with a whole herd, and it felt pretty darned good!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Book Giveaway!

So, I mentioned a couple of days ago that the Farm Fam is giving away some books. I finally got the list alphabetized and the PayPal thingy created and well whaddaya know I have a few minutes to throw this whole post together. Go me!

A word about the books: These are books that we've picked up over the years that we've either read so many times we can quote them chapter and verse, or books that we've picked up at yard sales by buying a box of books for a dollar... for one book out of the box... or just generally books that intrigued us enough to purchase but didn't quite fit our criteria for permanent membership in the Farm Fam Library. Some of them are quite old and slightly musty from storage, some have gotten slightly damp and warped the pages a bit, and a couple are vaguely mouse-nibbled at the corners. I make no assurances as to the condition of the books other than "not destroyed" and "readable."

For the most part they're all in good condition, though, and just a little musty in that "books in storage" kind of way.

Most are paperbacks, but four or five are hard backs. As I wasn't thinking ahead, I failed to note which ones, but if you request those I will make a point of letting you know that it's a hard back before I ask you to deposit your shipping costs.

Speaking of shipping costs, there's now a PayPal button on the right hand side of the page that reads "Donate." In the interest of streamlining the process I'll be using the USPS for shipping, and using their flat rate boxes. The rates for such are available here. When you request your books, I'll pack them and figure out what size box is needed, and then let you know via email what the cost will be.

To request books, please please please email me your list (at therealfarmgirl@gmail.com) AND post it in comments. Emailing me is the fastest way to get the information to me, and posting it in comments means that everyone will know it's spoken for.

You pay the shipping, you get the books. Good deal, right?

So without further ado or convoluted instructions, here's the list:

Steve Alton- Meg
Shari Anton- The Ideal Husband
Nina Bangs- An Original Sin
Nina Bangs- One Bite Stand
L.A. Banks- Bad Blood
Michele Bardsley- I'm the Vampire, That's Why
Nancy Bartholomew- Stand By Your Man
Patti Berg- And Then He Kissed Me
Dan Brown- The DaVinci Code
Edna Buchanan- Shadows
Louis McMaster Bujold- The Curse of Chalion
Rachel Caine- Gale Force
Orson Scott Card- Children of The Mind
Caleb Carr- The Italian Secretary
Lee Child- Nothing To Lose
Karen Chance- Claimed by Shadow
Arthur C Clark- 3001 The Final Odyssey
R Cameron Cooke- Pride Runs Deep
Patricia Cornwell- Hornet's Nest
Ralph Cotton- Blood Money
Catherine Coulter- Earth Song
Robert Crais- Demolition Angel
Clive Cussler- Iceberg
Clive Cussler- Serpent
Jude Deveraux- Forever
Susan Donovan- Public Displays Of Affection
Cassie Edwards- Wind Walker
Susan Edwards- White Flame
Janet Evanovich- Eleven on Top
Janet Evanovitch- Naughty Neighbor
Jane Fancher- Ground Ties
Christine Feehan- Dark Celebration
Christine Feehan- Dark Guardian
Christine Feehan- Dark Demon
Lucy Finn- Careful What You Wish For
Ken Follett- A Place Called Freedom
Jeff Foxworthy - No Shoes No Shirt No Problem
Terry Goodkind- Chainfire
Tim Green- The Fourth Perimeter
Laurell K. Hamilton, MaryJanice Davidson, Eileen Wilks, Rebecca York- Cravings
Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson, Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor- Bite
Holly Harte- Texas Jade
Elizabeth Haydon- Elegy for a Lost Star
Brian Herbert and Kevin J Anderson- Dune The Butlerian Jihad
Sandra Hill- Hot & Heavy
Sandra Hill- The Cajun Cowboy
Craig Holden- The River Sorrow
Kay Hooper- Hiding In The Shadows
Kay Hooper- Stealing Shadows
Greg Iles- 24 Hours
Adam Lee- The Shadow Eater
Jade Lee- Dragonborn
Jane Lindskold- The Dragon of Despair
Josie Litton- Castles In The Mist
Robert Ludlum- The Bourne Ultimatum
Katie MacAlister- Sex, Lies, and Vampires
Elliot S. Maggin- The Exciting Original Story of Superman Last Son of Krypton
Steve Martini- The List
Candace McCarthy- Heaven's Fire
Fiona McIntosh- Myrren's Gift
Dennis L. McKiernan- Once Upon A Winter's Night
Teresa Medeiros- A Kiss To Remember
Fern Michaels- Trading Places
Linda Lael Miller- Time Without End
Boris Pasternak- Doctor Zhivago
James Patterson- 1st To Die
Ralph Peters- Flames Of Heaven
Carly Phillips- Cross My Heart
Carly Phillips- Lucky Charm
Stobie Piel- The White Sun
Patricia Rice- Volcano
Jennifer Roberson- Shapechanger's Song
Nora Roberts- A Little Fate
Nora Roberts- The Calhoun Women (Catherine and Amanda)
HF Saint- Memoirs of An Invisible Man
John Sandford- Hidden Prey
Sidney Sheldon- The Doomsday Conspiracy
Jeanne C. Stein- Legacy
Marianne Stillings- The Damsel In This Dress
Michael Swanwick- Bones of The Earth
Judith Tarr- Kingdom of the Grail
Scott Turow- The Burden of Proof
William Ungerman- The Devil's Finger
Shiloh Walker- Hunting The Hunter
Rebecca Wells- Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood
Eileen Wilks- Tempting Danger
Eileen Wilks- Mortal Danger
Gretchen Wilson- Redneck Woman, Stories From My Life
Laura Wolf- Diary of a Mad Bride

Star Trek- Various
(Due to the convoluted nature of the Star Trek books, and the fact that none of us read them or really know what's going on with them, the first person to request these books will get them all.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Busy Busy

Things are a bit hectic right now, and believe me, you can't miss me any more than my pups do.

Still got a couple posts percolating, I just have to find enough time to sit down and write them and make them sound good.

Also coming soon: A book giveaway.

The Farm Fam went though about eight boxes of books and pared out two boxes worth that we're going to give away one way or another. I have a list of all of them, and as soon as I find time to get it alphabetized, I'll post it and a Paypal button. Deal is, pay the shipping and the books are yours. It's an eclectic mix so if you're in the market for books, keep your eyes peeled right here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Farmdog is Miss Manners

Sorry for the dearth of posting lately, folks. I have a couple that are going to be really funny as soon as I get past the whole "well that sucks" portion of writing them. I'd rather wait and give ya'll something great than rush and give you something bad or merely ok.

So yesterday, we took Fuzzy Pup up to the vet to get his rabies shot, which went fine. On the way out of the vet's office, he spotted some geese that the vet and his wife keep, and was very curious. The geese weren't curious at all, of course, but rather aggressive.

So two of the geese nearest him would drop their heads way down in a goose's "Go away before I whup up on you" stance, and he'd drop his head way down looking at them, and then here come the geese and there goes Fuzzy Pup the other way. I giggled.

(On a side note, please, folks, remember to get your pets vaccinated for rabies on a regular schedule. Just because you haven't heard about any cases in your area don't mean there aren't any in the local wildlife population. This has been a public service announcement from all of us here at Tractor Tracks and the Farm Fam enterprises.)

Once we got home, Farmmom invited me over for dinner... and to cook it. Since Farmdog didn't get to go with to the vet's office, I took her with me to the parents' house.

Now, Farmmom and Farmdad have their own dogs, both pups under a year old. They haven't really been exposed to other dogs or the manners that come with that, they've got that puppy exuberance, and they're very fond of me.

So when we walked in the door yesterday, I unclipped Farmdog's leash and told her to teach 'em some manners.

This is sort of the opposite of "it's a baby, be nice" in that she's allowed to growl, snarl, and snap at the other dogs, but she still isn't supposed to break skin. She knows the criteria well enough and immediately set to demonstrating that she is, indeed, the head bitch on four legs of any dog pack in this family.

Farmdog is a great teacher of manners to pups because she has a no tolerance policy right off the bat. If they're behaving in a manner that's not appropriate, she's going to call them on it, and keep letting them know that it's not acceptable until they change that behavior.

That includes displaying proper submissive behavior such as chin-licking and showing belly, but it also includes jumping up on people after they've said "no." She'll come up beside them and snarl and bare teeth while she pushes them aside with her head or shoulder, and never touch them or the person with teeth once, which is a courtesy that the other pups rarely show her, nipping at her in an attempt to get her to leave them alone or to play.

Farmdad's dog, Hootie, is an intact male, just reaching the stage of his doggie puberty where he's being pickled in hormones. Thus he was rather pleased that I had brought him a new girlfriend and greeted her with the cocky assurance that never having had his little puppy butt whipped for rudeness creates.

And she immediately knocked him to the floor.

Thirty minutes later, Lizzie, the queen bee pup of the house who didn't know how to submit to anyone, is displaying a champ's skill at showing belly and is much calmer. Hootie was still being a bit of a spazz but he'd stopped trying to mount Farmdog and had begun trying to get her to play.

By the end of the night he was able to sit quietly under the table and just watch the goings on, but it was actually rather entertaining to see them get there.

Farmdog is a great pup to teach unmannered pooches because she's so careful with smaller dogs and animals. She looks and sounds like she's going to kill them at times but she has never so much as drawn blood from another dog, even when she had to hold them down by the throat to get her point across and they were squirming and fighting her.

She's picked up scratches and bites aplenty, but she's never caused any. She's my Miss Manners, and man, she's good at it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

This post is a bit late, I know, but I found it difficult to get in the proper mood until after I'd watched an incendiary expression of the joy and pride of freedom.

In other words... It really didn't feel like Independence Day until the fireworks started going off.

It helped that Mother Nature is giving her own salute to Lady Liberty in my little corner of the world tonight, with a beautiful rainstorm and cloud-to-cloud lightning.

So if you are, for some reason, at home, and on the computer, when you rightfully should be out launching small, colorfully explosive devices into the air, well, you'll see this tonight. If not, you'll see it tomorrow, and hopefully realize that my heart was in the right place.

As many others have said, this day is about so much more than bottle rockets and black cats. However, I can't say it any better than the first people did, so I'll just remind you of some of their immortal words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

This is just an excerpt of the full document which, I firmly believe should be well known to every American.

Everyone knows "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" but few have even a nodding acquaintance with the list of transgressions leveled against the King by our forefathers.

Take a moment and remember that everything we have today is because of people who stood up to a ruling monarch and refused to allow him to take their rights, their money, or their freedom. I am proud to be the legacy of such men and women, and hope that every one of my readers feel the same.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Losing Touch

I am horrible about making phone calls. I forget to call people on a regular basis, although I'm good about returning calls most of the time.

So I can tend to lose touch with folks. Such loss of communication can result in some major surprises when we finally do talk.

"I got married."

"I had a kid."

"Jebus told me to join the Hare Krishna's."

Anyway, I've decided that what I really need is a schedule. I need to sit down and figure out who I'm going to call on what evening, and put reminders into my phone, so that it yells at me and tells me to call them.


It could work.

Stop laughing, Farmmom.